POETS, COURTESANS, AND MONKS 133 it, if the abbot would permit her to borrow the clapper used for beat- ing time during the singing of litany. So Tungpo gave the girl these ]ines to sing: "Holy Father, I do not know what to say, Being not conversant with your way. May I borrow the door rapper and litany clapper? Kindly take this in a spirit of fun. A maiden's stolen glance should cast no blemish, Please, Your Reverence, be not so squeamish. For if you were my age, I might be all your rage.* As it is, no harm is done." .It was strictly a one-man comic opera, and even the austere Tatung laughed. Su Tungpo came out with the girl and boasted to the others that they had learned a great "lesson in the mysteries". * It is not possible to separate monks from women, at least not in Chinese literature. The stories of monks are olten stories of women and the stories of women are often stories of monks. For East and West, there is a secret grudge among lay people against a special class of celibates who announce to the world that they have no sex life and are different from the generality of mankind, and it is this secret grudge against celibates that underlies the popularity of the stories of Boccaccio. Besides, a monk's affairs with women make a better story than a business-man's. As a judge, Su Tungpo had once to adjudicate a case involving a monk. There was a monastic brother at the Lingyin Temple, by the name of Liaojan, who frequented the red-light district and fell madly in love with a girl named Shiunu. In time he spent all his money and was reduced to rags, and Shiunu refused to see him any more- One night in a drunken fit he went to call on the girl again, and being refused admittance, he forced his way in, beat the girl, and killed her. The monk was therefore being tried for murder. In examining him the officers found on his arm a tattooed couplet: "May we be born ^together in Paradise, and not suffer the love pangs of this life!" After the completion of the investigation the evidence was submitted to Su Tungpo. Su could not resist writing the sentence in the form of a light verse: "Away from here, you bald-head daisy! In vain you took the vow of celibacy, Reduced yourself to this ragged shape By your unmonkish profligacy. By your cruel fists you killed your love.